Members of the Group Study Exchange team from District 5500, in the vicinity of Recife, Brazil, were guests of the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club Friday. Accompanied by Norris Bevan,
known as the “Father of the BBRC,” the five-person team has been in the Puget Sound region for a couple of weeks and will be attending the District Conference aboard the Dawn Princess this week.
Bevan thanked Club members who hosted the Brazilians, including Dale Hemphill and Wally Mahoney.
Preceding the GSE presentation came Marina Petribu, the BBRC Brazilian exchange student from Recife. She played a video extolling the virtues of her hometown, which is a beautiful area of Northern
Brazil, right on the Atlantic Ocean. Over 180 kilometers of white sandy beaches get lots of attention in Recife. The Dutch and Portuguese heritage has combined to produce a fun-loving
citizenry … as the video said, “It’s an endless party!”
Marina Petribu, the BBRC Brazilian Exchange Student
Marina described her city as the “Brazilian Venice.” There are many rivers and a major island on which the city is built. Marina introduced her family
by photos, including her sister, who sported one shaved eyebrow – her reward for passing a test for entry to college! In 1998, Marina’s sister
was also an exchange student in this area, living with the Redmonds. The experience was so beneficial for all concerned, that the Redmonds invited
Marina, and the rest is history. Marina was particularly energized for Friday’s meeting, what with all her countrymen attending her Rotary club meeting!
The GSE Team was led by Emidio Vasconcelos Leitao da Cunha, Emidio for short. He explained, as a member of a Rotary Club in Recife,
that the team represented District 5500, with 3,500 members and 83 clubs. His club has 42 members and is 67 years old. Emidio is a pharmacist and came to Rotary after membership in both Interact and
Adriana de Campos Rossiter is a 26-year-old single transportation engineer. She works for a private consulting firm in Recife, and she was
particularly interested in studying the transportation challenges in this region.
Alessandra Costa Cavalcanti de Araujo is a lawyer, 26, single, and works in the area of Human Rights. In her spare time, she teaches ballet.
This is her third experience in Rotary – she was previously an exchange student in District 5100, central Oregon and enrolled in the RYLA
program. There are six members in her family, all of whom are lawyers. “Rotary has made my life special,” said Alessandra.
Juliana Maria Carrozzoni Borba is a 28-year-old single teacher at a University. Her vocation is nutritionist, particularly as it affects the central
nervous system. She pitched travel to her part of the world: “Go to Recife! You’ll have a wonderful time.”
Ricardo Wagner de Souza Alcantara is a single, 31-year-old lawyer, who loves to scuba dive in the lush and warm waters around Recife.
Banners from their sponsoring clubs were exchanged and the meeting closed with everyone scurrying off to their next appointments.